American Sociological Association

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  1. Health Lifestyles and the Transition to Adulthood

    Prior research has shown the theoretical importance and empirical feasibility of health lifestyles but has not examined their patterns over the life course or their dynamic associations with socioeconomic status (SES) and adult roles. The authors develop and apply a life-course approach to understanding individuals’ health lifestyles across the transition to adulthood, using U.S. data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (n = 6,863).

  2. Are Feminine Body Weight Norms Different for Black Students or in Black Schools? Girls’ Weight-Related Peer Acceptance across Racialized School Contexts

    Adolescent girls with overweight or obesity are less socially integrated than their thinner peers. We examine racial-ethnic differences in girls’ weight-related friendship patterns, especially noting Black–white distinctions given their different norms about the ideal feminine form. We also test whether schools with more Black students see diminished weight-related differences in peer integration for all girls and/or for Black girls.

  3. Transcending the Profession: Psychiatric Patients’ Experiences of Trust in Clinicians

    Classical medical sociological theory argues patients trust doctors in part because they are professionals. Yet in the past half-century, medicine has seen a crisis of trust as well as fundamental changes to the nature of professionalism. To probe the relationship between professionalism and trust today, we analyzed interviews with 50 psychiatric patients receiving care in diverse clinical settings. We found patients experience trust when they perceive clinicians transcending the formal bounds of professionalism.

  4. Beyond Net Worth: Racial Differences in Wealth Portfolios and Black–White Health Inequality across the Life Course

    A large body of research links wealth and health, but most previous work focuses on net worth. However, the assets and debts that comprise wealth likely relate to health in different and meaningful ways. Furthermore, racial differences in wealth portfolios may contribute to racial health gaps. Using longitudinal data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) and mixed effects growth curve models, we examined the associations between various wealth components and multiple health outcomes.

  5. Emotions and Medical Decision-Making

    Sociologists have written surprisingly little about the role emotions play in medical decision-making, largely ceding this terrain to psychologists who conceptualize emotional influences on decision-making in primarily cognitive and individualistic terms. In this article, I use ethnographic data gathered from parents and physicians caring for children with life-threatening conditions to illustrate how emotions enter the medical decision-making process in fundamentally interactional ways.
  6. Social Class, Diagnoses of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, and Child Well-Being

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most commonly diagnosed mental health disorder among U.S. children. Diagnosis can bring positives, like proper treatment, extra testing time, and social support, but may also trigger negatives, like stigmatization. Although rates of diagnosis are high across socioeconomic status (SES) groups, the balance of positive and negative consequences of diagnosis may differ by SES.

  7. Scientific Hegemony and the Field of Autism

    Autism is one of the twenty-first century’s most contested illnesses. Early controversies around vaccine harm have irrevocably structured the field of autism science. Despite incredible investment in genetic research on autism over the past 30 years, scientists have failed to identify a set of “genes for” autism, and genomic causality has become more complex.
  8. Cracking the Black Box: Capturing the Role of Expectation States in Status Processes

    A fundamental task for sociology is to uncover the mechanisms that produce and reproduce social inequalities. While status characteristics theory is the favored account of how social status contributes independently to the maintenance of inequality, it hinges on an unobserved construct, expectation states, in the middle of the causal chain between status and behavior. Efforts to test the mediation mechanism have been complicated by the implicit, often unconscious, nature of status expectations.
  9. Medical Authority under Siege: How Clinicians Transform Patient Resistance into Acceptance

    Over the past decades, professional medical authority has been transformed due to internal and external pressures, including weakened institutional support and patient-centered care. Today’s patients are more likely to resist treatment recommendations. We examine how patient resistance to treatment recommendations indexes the strength of contemporary professional authority. Using conversation analytic methods, we analyze 39 video recordings of patient-clinician encounters involving pediatric epilepsy patients in which parents resist recommended treatments.
  10. Race-Ethnicity, Social Roles, and Mental Health: A Research Update

    Social role involvement engenders sense of purpose and meaning to life, which sustains positive mental health. Racism within American society, however, results in experiences that disadvantage ethnoracial minorities, thus making it likely that social roles do not have universal remunerations. Using the Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Surveys (N = 12,526), this study explores the association between role participation and psychological distress across nine ethnoracial groups. Results indicate that engaging in many roles is associated with better mental health for all ethnoracial groups.